Grange Pavilion has won a £1m grant

Photo CNP

The Grange Pavilion is the heart of Grangetown community but during the years its condition got worse, resulting in a crumbling and unattractive building. Now a project developed by Cardiff University’s Community Gateway and Grangetown Community Action has received over £1m by the Big Lottery Fund to refurbish and extend the current building in Grange Gardens.

When Lynne Thomas, Project Manager for Community Gateway, was told by the Big Lottery staff that the Pavilion project won the grant, she was over the moon. Many people have worked on the project over the years, from students to university professors, from local resident to councillors, so the win was the culmination of a long effort by many people. She says:

“Without this grant we would not be able to achieve our vision of renovating the Pavilion and creating a new building with a multi-functional hall that will serve all the needs of the community, and it enables us to support the Pavilion in the future through maximising our potential revenues”

The £1m grant will enable to develop a multi-functional community facility that will provide opportunities for education, training, health promotion and enterprise development, with a café, office and meeting spaces. The grant is crucial to fully renovate the Pavilion, whose condition was getting worse year over year. The garden seems neglected, the roof has many cracks and all the structure is not in its best shape.

The Pavilion has already been partially renovated and re-opened in 2016. Since then, many activities promoted by Grangetown residents have taken place: a Homework clubs, a Youth Forum, ESOL classes, a community garden, mental health peer support, a Tech café, arts therapy, the Friends and Neighbours group, cricket and football training with peer mentoring, and play sessions.

The importance of bringing the community together

Having a park and a football pitch next to it, the Pavilion is a milestone for the children in Grangetown. The renovation could now bring more people to attend the Pavilion spaces and activities. “It’s wonderful that we’ll have a better facility”, says Lynda Thorne, the local councillor. She continued stressing the importance that all community takes part in the Pavilion activities: “It makes sure that the park is used well and not just by youngsters but by all ages.”

Ali Abdi, the Grange Pavilion manager, was absolutely delighted when he heard the news. He thinks that this project can really help to bring the community together:

“People need things in their community to be able to live a good life and I think this Pavilion will contribute to that”

But a lot of work is coming so he calls for everyone that can help: “When the excitement slows down a little bit, we can really look forward to working on the Pavilion. What we want to do is to call upon everyone in the community who has a skill in construction, carpentry, plumbing or decorating to see in they can be involved to develop this space. Obviously, the works will go to a contractor, but let’s see how much our community can take part and make a real impact and Grangetown a better place.”

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